Martine Bulard

Rédactrice en chef adjointe au « Monde diplomatique »

  • Taiwan and the Prospects for War Between China and America | The Diplomat

    The textbook answer is straightforward. China seeks a secure second (retaliatory) strike capability that will serve to deter an American first strike. As China argues, it has a “no-nuclear-first policy” which makes its arsenal purely defensive – while its other capabilities such as cyber are offensive.

    Potential nuclear adversaries including Russia, India, and the United States are fully aware that China’s investment in advanced warheads and ballistic missile delivery systems bring Delhi, Moscow, and, soon, Washington within reach of the “East Wind.” While not a nuclear peer competitor to either Russia or the U.S., China is rapidly catching up as it builds an estimated 30-50 new nuclear warheads each year.

    While American leaders may find such a sentiment unfounded, the PRC has a strong fear that the United States will use its nuclear arsenal as a tool to blackmail (coerce) China into taking or not taking a number of actions that are against its interests. China’s fears are not unfounded. Unlike China, the United States maintains an ambiguous use-policy in order to provide maximum flexibility.

    As declassified government documents from the 1970s clearly show, the United States certainly planned to use overwhelming nuclear force early in a European conflict with the Soviet Union. Given American nuclear superiority and its positioning of ballistic missile defenses in Asia, ostensibly to defend against a North Korean attack, China sees its position and ability to deter the United States as vulnerable.

    #Chine #Etats-Unis #militarisation

  • TPP may deny Australia its piece of the China pie | East Asia Forum

    As the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) goes through another round, some details have started trickling out from the secretive negotiations. A concerning detail for Australia is the provision that applies penalties to foreign state-owned enterprises (SOEs) if they receive discounted loans when investing in TPP member economies.

    These provisions are based on the idea of ‘competitive neutrality’. This clause aims to stop SOEs from receiving an advantage over their private competitors by virtue of their connection to their home state.

    #TPP #Australie

  • China migration: Dying for land -

    To the people, it looked like an invasion. For three years farmers in Fuyou village had been fighting the government-backed developer who turned their land into a giant construction site. Thugs circled after dark, threatening and sometimes beating the residents. Villagers armed with hoes and scythes had taken shifts guarding the entrance to their narrow streets.
    Now, truck after truck packed with men in hard hats labelled “police” and carrying long staves, electric prods and riot shields rolled down the highway. Relatives working in a nearby town say they called ahead to warn that the convoy was on its way. The villagers grabbed steel rods from the construction site, and waited.

    The two forces clashed on the wide roads between half-finished buildings under the bright southern sun in China’s Yunnan province — more than 2,000km from Beijing. The crowd overturned three silver Chevrolets. Small running battles left men bloodied and beaten on the ground.
    Villagers captured eight of the “police”, bound them with packing tape and plastic twine, and held them in the village function hall. On closer inspection, the outsiders had the same weathered peasant faces as the villagers. Their dark blue uniforms turned out to be ill-fitting security guard outfits pulled on over normal clothes. One woman called the real police repeatedly.
    Late in the afternoon with tensions high, the villagers dragged four of the hostages out to the road, bound them together with a red cloth banner, and splashed them with petrol, demanding that the other side withdraw. Instead, they surged forward.
    When the smoke cleared on October 14 last year, the charred and bloody bodies of the hostages lay still bound on the pavement. At least two villagers and two outsiders were found dead in nearby fields.
    “We had no choice but to defend ourselves,” says one villager who asks not to be named for fear of retaliation. “If we hadn’t killed them they would have killed more of ours.”
    The battle of Fuyou was remarkable for its savagery, but not for the fact that it happened. Land grabs are the top cause of unrest in the Chinese countryside and in the sprawling villages-turned-slums surrounding every city.
    Urban vs rural

    China’s rapid urbanisation has been driven primarily by the pull of higher wages in the city, and the opportunity to escape a life of back-breaking farm work. For three decades, cheap labour from the countryside has driven China’s “economic miracle”, as the nation’s premier, Li Keqiang, acknowledged in an address in March.

    #Chine, #Paysans, #Migrants

  • America in the Way by Joseph E. Stiglitz - Project Syndicate

    I was a member of an international commission, the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation, examining ways to reform the current tax system. In a report presented to the International Conference on Financing for Development, we unanimously agreed that the current system is broken, and that minor tweaks will not fix it. We proposed an alternative – similar to the way corporations are taxed within the US, with profits allocated to each state on the basis of the economic activity occurring within state borders.
    The US and other advanced countries have been pushing for much smaller changes, to be recommended by the OECD, the advanced countries’ club. In other words, the countries from which the politically powerful tax evaders and avoiders come are supposed to design a system to reduce tax evasion. Our Commission explains why the OECD reforms were at best tweaks in a fundamentally flawed system and were simply inadequate.
    Developing countries and emerging markets, led by India, argued that the proper forum for discussing such global issues was an already established group within the United Nations, the Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters, whose status and funding needed to be elevated. The US strongly opposed: it wanted to keep things the same as in the past, with global governance by and for the advanced countries.
    New geopolitical realities demand new forms of global governance, with a greater voice for developing and emerging countries. The US prevailed in Addis, but it also showed itself to be on the wrong side of history.


  • Public misconceptions may sour Sino-Russian cooperation efforts - Global Times

    In recent years, it has been common to hear suggestions of China allying with Russia, particularly when tensions rise in China-US relations. A few Chinese people do think it is possible for China to unite with Russia against the US. But what interests me more is that every time the perception is raised, it is confronted by strong opposition and criticism domestically. I realize that the Chinese public, especially the elite, has more animosity for Russia than for the US.

    Several reasons are commonly cited for this animosity. For instance, posts about Russia occupying more than 1.5 million square kilometers of Chinese territory can be found easily on the Internet and some cite the number of over 3 million square kilometers. In history, Russia showed extreme greed and a lack of creditability in dealing with China. Besides, Russia still sometimes deals with China without showing sufficient respect on some specific issues.

    In comparison, the Chinese are more impressed by the US as it worked side by side with China to fight against Japan during WWII, and the image of American Volunteer Group were more favorable than Soviet Red Army. Besides, it is widely known in China that the US’ Boxer Indemnity funded the establishment of Tsinghua University and helped China build the Peking Union Medical College Hospital.

    Such examples appear to be convincing and have shaped many Chinese people’s feelings about Russia and the US. But this is misleading.

    The modern history of China is full of humiliations and has implanted deeply in Chinese people the idea that China has to grow stronger as lagging behind leaves one vulnerable to attacks. To do this, it needs to face up to the reality and future.

    #CHine #Russie

  • Anti-graft exhibitions aim to deter officials from being corrupt - Global Times

    Despite having been told that the exhibitions are only open to civil servants or officials, the Global Times reporters were given permission by Li to visit an exhibition hall in Dongcheng district in Beijing on August 4.

    Over 10 officials listened to the tales of corrupt officials. They were taught about the reasons these officials fell into corruption, were presented with a wall covered with their confessions, warned of the serious consequences of corrupt practices and shown videos about money-power trading and the profit chain behind corruption.

    An official surnamed Gao told the Global Times that “we should come to the exhibition very often. It could serve as a warning and also an inspiration for my future work.”

    According to Yuan, exhibitions held by his company sometimes feature special effects. For example, using lights and sounds they make attendees feel like they are standing on thin ice and that any unlawful practices could cause them to fall into the freezing embrace of a long prison sentence.

    “The exhibitions aim to prevent corruption in the first place,” said Li, adding that the company has also built exhibition halls for teenagers to help them establish mainstream moral values at an early age. 

    The guide at the Beijing exhibition hall told the Global Times that many officials have applied to visit and she guides four or five groups each day.

    According to the Beijing Youth Daily newspaper, an education center in Haidian district that was established in April 2014 has received over 230 government institutions and nearly 7,000 officials.

    New form of corruption?

    The popularity and expansion of this new business has drawn criticism as some see it as a poor use of government resources.

    While such exhibitions play a role in anti-graft campaign by educating officials and deterring corruption, a commentary from the Hunan-based argues that the high cost of building exhibitions is a waste of government resources. The industry also may generate new illegal profits and be manipulated by some people for the purpose of grabbing public resources, turning it into the source of another form of corruption.

    #Chine #corruption

  • Philippines’ labour chief urges Hong Kong to review live-in policy and two-week rule for domestic helpers | South China Morning Post

    Two controversial policies that require domestic workers in Hong Kong to live with their employers and return to their home countries two weeks after their contracts are terminated should be reviewed, the visiting Philippine labour minister says.

    Rosalinda Baldoz told the South China Morning Post yesterday that while she appreciated the opportunities the city had provided for Filipinos, changes could be made to the regulations.

    Asked her views on the live-in requirement and the two-week rule, policies that helpers say make them vulnerable to abuse, Baldoz suggested a review.

    “I think it should be the subject of an agreement between the workers and the employers,” she said of the live-in requirement ahead of a meeting with her Hong Kong counterpart, Matthew Cheung Kin-chung.

    “It should be a choice.”

    For years, domestic helper groups have warned that the live-in requirement blocks any means of escape for maids facing abuse, while the two-week rule forces the helpers, often heavily indebted, to endure mistreatment so they can hold on to their jobs.

    “The feedback that I get is that the two-week period is quite short,” Baldoz said. “Maybe it is time to review [the period] and make it a little longer.”

    She also called on employment agencies - notorious for charging maids up to HK$20,000 - to adopt “ethical recruitment standards”. Hong Kong law stipulates that agencies can only charge maids 10 per cent of the first month’s salary.

    “We are even ready to incentivise them by making it easy: less bureaucratic red tape, shorter processing time, especially if they will partner with local recruitment agencies that also maintain a very high standard of recruitment business,” she said.

    #Hongkong #Philippines

  • Islamist militancy on the rise in Bangladesh | East Asia Forum

    Islamist militancy on the rise in Bangladesh
    8 August 2015
    Author: Iftekharul Bashar, RSIS

    Islamist militant groups in Bangladesh are showing signs of revival. According to Bangladeshi authorities, militants from at least two banned outfits — Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) — are preparing for attacks in the country, including targeted assassinations involving individuals whom they consider apostates or obstacles to establishing an Islamic State in Bangladesh. The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the launch of Al Qaeda’s South Asia chapter, known as Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), have led to increasing militant activism in Bangladesh.

    #Bangladesh #Assassinats

  • Gao Yu, Jailed Chinese Journalist, Is Said to Be Receiving Good Medical Care - The New York Times

    Mr. Shang said that the examination was conducted around July 10 at Beijing Anzhen Hospital, the capital city’s leading cardiac hospital, where the country’s top leaders can seek care.

    Trying to explain the special treatment, her other lawyer, Mo Shaoping, said, “Perhaps they think that she really has problems.”

    “It’s not that usual for a prisoner to be taken to a hospital outside the public security system,” Mr. Mo said. “Usually, they are taken to the Public Security Hospital.”

    Ms. Gao has repeatedly challenged the Communist Party during a decades-long career. Her recent arrest and conviction were for disclosing to an overseas news media group a Communist Party directive that had been widely summarized on government websites. The directive, called “Document No. 9,” laid out the party’s plans for an offensive against liberal political ideas and values.

    In March last year, Cao Shunli, a 53-year-old rights activist, died in a hospital of organ failure after six months in policy custody.

    Ms. Cao’s family and her lawyer, Wang Yu, who has since been detained by the police in a sweep of rights lawyers, said her medical problems were insufficiently treated or ignored in detention.

    Rights groups say that prisoners, including political prisoners, are regularly denied adequate medical treatment in detention.

    #Chine #Gao_Yu

  • The next step for the US-Japan alliance | East Asia Forum

    US-Japan relations gained momentum with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s US visit in late April. Abe’s historic speech to a joint sitting of the Congress was well received. The two countries also announced the first revision of the US-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines since 1997, based on the understanding that the Japan Self-Defense Force (SDF) will take on a larger role and US-Japan security cooperation will be expanded.

    This evolution in US-Japan alliance relations has taken place as the regional balance of power shifts. Emerging economies such as China, India, and ASEAN countries are rising; Asia’s middle class is growing; and US defence spending shifting toward a more sustainable, ‘lean-but-mean’ posture. Thus as the Abe administration struggles over the next couple of months to pass legislation to expand Japan’s security role, structural shifts in East Asia are making it clear that the next step for Japan and the US must be to transform the alliance into a more multifaceted partnership.

    Japan must strengthen regional trust. The 70th anniversary of World War II offers an opportunity to affirm Japan’s peaceful postwar identity and to mend ties with South Korea and China. In his anticipated August statement, Abe must unequivocally face up to Japan’s historical wartime transgressions without dropping any of the key elements of the Murayama Statement. At the same time, Abe should set out Japan’s defence policy in a forward-looking way — clearly stating that it is aimed solely at defending Japan and contributing to the peaceful enhancement of the regional security environment — to dispel any misperceptions in China and South Korea that the revised US-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines or Japan’s new security legislation to allow limited forms of collective self-defence represent a return to a more aggressive regional posture.

    #Japon #Etats-Unis #militarisation

  • Chinese Textile Mills Are Now Hiring in Places Where Cotton Was King - The New York Times

    In the United States, manufacturing wages adjusted for productivity have risen less than 30 percent since 2004, to $22.32 an hour, according to the consulting firm. And the higher wages for American workers are offset by lower natural gas prices, as well as inexpensive cotton and local tax breaks and subsidies.


    Today, for every $1 required to manufacture in the United States, Boston Consulting estimates that it costs 96 cents to manufacture in China. Yarn production costs in China are now 30 percent higher than in the United States, according to the International Textile Manufacturers Federation.

    “Everybody believed that China would always be cheaper,” said Harold L. Sirkin, a senior partner at Boston Consulting. “But things are changing even faster than anyone imagined.”

    Rising costs in China are causing a shift of some types of manufacturing to lower-cost countries like Bangladesh, India and Vietnam. In many cases, the exodus has been led by the Chinese themselves, who have aggressively moved to set up manufacturing bases elsewhere.

    In recent years, the United States has started to get more attention from that exodus. From 2000 to 2014, Chinese companies invested $46 billion on new projects and acquisitions in the United States, much of it in the last five years, according to a report published in May by the Rhodium Group, a New York research firm.

    The Carolinas are now home to at least 20 Chinese manufacturers, including Keer and Sun Fiber, which set up a polyester fiber plant in Richburg, S.C., last year. And in Lancaster County, negotiations are underway with two more textile companies, from Taiwan and the Chinese mainland.

    #Chine #Etats-Unis #Industrie_textile

  • Grèce : pourquoi le nouveau plan d’aide est déjà un échec

    Autrement dit, les banques vont encore dépendre largement de la liquidité d’urgence de la BCE, le programme ELA et cela pour un temps encore considérable. Et le besoin de recapitalisation des banques va encore grimper.

    Quels besoins de recapitalisation ?
    Or, ceci va avoir des conséquences importantes. Cette recapitalisation se fera par deux moyens : la participation des créanciers et des actionnaires, puis un prêt du Mécanisme européen de Stabilité (MES), prêt qui sera garanti, puis remboursé par le produit des privatisations logés dans un « fonds indépendant. » Une enveloppe de 10 à 25 milliards d’euros est prévue par le MES. Si cette enveloppe est insuffisante, il n’y aura pas d’autres options que de faire payer les déposants, comme à Chypre en avril 2013. Les analystes de RBS et de Fitch estiment que l’enveloppe prévue sera suffisante. Mais il y a un risque certain que la dégradation conjoncturelle continue à alimenter la crainte d’une ponction sur les dépôts, alimentant ainsi les retraits et donc les besoins de recapitalisation... Bref, l’option d’un scénario « à la chypriote », devenu officiel avec l’union bancaire européenne, va faire peser un risque non seulement sur les banques grecques, mais sur la conjoncture grecque. La Grèce va rester durablement une économie de « cash » et une économie dominée par la peur. La recapitalisation des banques ne pourra, au mieux, que freiner le phénomène, pas l’inverser.

    De nouvelles exigences inévitables des créanciers

  • Japanese should embrace activism as apology | East Asia Forum

    5 August 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of Emperor Hirohito’s historic speech of surrender ending the Asia Pacific theatre of World War II. Speculation about what Abe will say on this year’s anniversary has been more intense than in previous years due to the prime minister’s nationalistic agenda. His statement will certainly tread a delicate balance between appealing to domestic constituencies and international audiences. But the words uttered are unlikely to have much impact beyond raising some voices of discontent.

    #Japon #2nde_guerre_Mondiale #Révisionnisme

  • Le Vietnam termine ses négociations bilatérales sur le TPP - Le Courrier du Vietnam

    Le ministre vietnamien de l’Industrie et du Commerce, Vu Huy Hoàng, et des représentants des ministères, secteurs concernés ont récemment participé au dernier tour de négociations sur l’accord de partenariat transpacifique (TPP) à Hawaii, aux États-Unis, pour parvenir à la conclusion de cet accord à la fin de cette année, a annoncé le 3 août le ministère de l’Industrie et du Commerce dans un communiqué.

    La délégation vietnamienne a travaillé de façon active, constructive afin de préserver les intérêts nationaux et de terminer ces négociations dans un esprit d’intérêt mutuel.

    Le ministre Vu Huy Hoàng a travaillé avec le représentant au commerce, Michael B. Froman, le ministre chargé des négociations du TPP du Japon, le ministre malaisien du Commerce international et de l’Industrie et le ministre mexicain de l’Économie.

    #TPP #Vietnam

  • Still Uninvestigated After 50 Years: Did the U.S. Help Incite the 1965 Indonesia Massacre? | The Asia-Pacific Journal

    Still Uninvestigated After 50 Years: Did the U.S. Help Incite the 1965 Indonesia Massacre?

    The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 13, Issue. 31, No. 1, August 03, 2015

    Peter Dale Scott

    It is now fifty years since the so-called “G30S” or “Gestapu” (Gerakan September Tigahpuluh) event of September 30, 1965 in Indonesia, when six members of the Indonesian army general staff were brutally murdered. This event was a decisive moment in Indonesian history: it led to the overthrow of President Sukarno, his replacement by an army general, Suharto, and the subsequent massacre of a half million or more Indonesians targeted as communists.1 It is also forty years since I first wrote to suggest that the United States was implicated in this horrendous event,2 and thirty years since I wrote about it again in 1985 in the Canadian journal Pacific Affairs.3
    Strikingly, there has been very little follow-up investigating these events inside the United States. A new generation of scholars, notably John Roosa and Bradley Simpson, have documented U.S. involvement in the exploitation of Gestapu to justify the subsequent mass murder, in the massacre project itself, and in the formation of the subsequent capitalist New Order.4 But there has been, I shall try to show, little or no American response to facts I presented then suggesting U.S. involvement in inciting the specific event of September 30 itself.

    The Indonesia massacre of 1965
    Consider five facts about the U.S. and Indonesia in 1965, facts that (apart from the first) have been little noted or greeted in America with silence.
    Fact No. 1) Prior to Gestapu, a number of U.S. academics and policy intellectuals with connections to the CIA and RAND Corporation publicly urged their contacts in the Indonesian Army "to strike, sweep their house clean” (Guy Pauker), while “liquidating the enemy’s political and guerrilla armies” (William Kintner).


  • Henoko landfill work put on hold for a month to ease tensions with Okinawa - AJW by The Asahi Shimbun

    August 04, 2015

    Tokyo will suspend reclamation work off the Henoko district in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, for a month from Aug. 10 to help ease strains with the prefectural government over moves to relocate a key U.S. military base.

    Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga announced Aug. 4 that the central government will hold intensive consultations with the Okinawan prefectural authorities about the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan to Henoko.

    Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga also announced the same day that his government will not take legal and legislative measures to block the landfill project during the one-month period.

    During a news conference in Tokyo, Suga, the government’s top spokesman, said he will visit Okinawa at an early date to exchange opinions with Onaga.

    The suspension of the project does not represent a change of our policy, but is intended to give us time to fully explain our principles,” Suga said. “We are also willing to hear the opinions of the Okinawa side.”

    Onaga, meanwhile, said at a news conference in Naha on Aug. 4 that he will make it clear again during his discussions with the central government officials that it is impossible to relocate the Futenma functions to Henoko.
    #Japon#Okinawa #Bases_militaires_US

  • Emerging markets: Redrawing the world map -

    Already, some commentators are proposing alternatives to the definition, seeking to identify ordering principles and shared dynamics among clusters of developing countries. This, they hope, will allow institutions, companies and multilateral organisations to assess more accurately the balance of risk and opportunity in large parts of the world.
    What’s in a name?

    At its inception, “emerging market” was not designed as a definition with specific criteria. Antoine van Agtmael, then an economist at the International Financial Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, coined it as a marketing catchphrase in the 1980s.
    The attraction was clear: it sounded aspirational. Countries previously known by monikers such as “less developed” or “third world” were suddenly imbued with the promise that they might be on a journey towards something better.
    Since the 1980s, the stunning success of the term has spawned several attempts to nail down a set of commonly recognised characteristics — with the unintended consequence that different organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, the UN and financial index providers such as MSCI, JPMorgan and FTSE use a clutter of conflicting criteria to categorise emerging markets.
    Adding to the confusion, the term is sometimes used to describe equity, bond or currency markets in developing countries and sometimes to describe the countries themselves. Different criteria make a world of difference. The MSCI equity index identifies 23 emerging markets countries and puts 28 into a “frontier emerging markets” category. The IMF, by contrast, defines 152 “emerging and developing economies”.

    #Economie_mondiale #Pays_émergents

  • China, Southeast Asia to set up hotline for South China Sea issues | Reuters

    China and Southeast Asian nations have agreed to set up a foreign ministers’ hotline to tackle emergencies in the disputed South China Sea, a senior official of the ASEAN grouping told Reuters on Friday.

    China claims most of the potentially energy-rich sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year, and rejects the rival claims of Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.

    With the region having become Asia’s biggest potential military flashpoint, the United States has urged claimants to settle differences through talks, saying its Pacific Fleet aims to protect sea lanes critical to U.S. trade.

    But China rejects U.S. involvement in the dispute, and its more assertive approach recently, including land reclamation and construction on disputed reefs, has stirred tension.

    The hotline will be announced at next week’s meeting of foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said the senior ASEAN official, who has knowledge of the discussions.

    “The hotline is likely to be announced in a joint statement at the end of the meetings,” said the official, who declined to be identified because the talks were private.

    #Chine #Asean #Mer_de_Chine

  • What the Trans-Pacific Partnership Means for Southeast Asia | The Diplomat

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) made it through its toughest hurdle in the U.S. Congress last month, after the House and Senate both voted in favor of granting President Barack Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), otherwise known as “fast track,” the ability to negotiate the TPP and other trade deals with foreign countries.

    Touted as a “21st century trade agreement,” the TPP would bring together 12 nations, including the United States and Japan, encompassing 40 percent of global trade under a progressive, far-reaching free trade deal.

    Environmental groups, labor unions, and anti-trade activists, have vociferously opposed the “fast track” bill. In contrast, foreign policy analysts in Washington have generally been in favor of the TPP. They argue that failure to reach a free trade agreement with Asian economies would allow China to set the global norms, fearing China’s mercantilist foreign policy would neglect environmental standards, labor rights, and intellectual property rights, and set a low bar for global standards.

    Few have paused to consider what the TPP means for the four Southeast Asian nations in negotiations: Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei. A range of issues are at stake, from currency manipulation to regulation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), which have particular relevance for Southeast Asia’s state-centric economies. The TPP could bring about significant financial and social reforms to these countries, opening the playing field to foreign investors while introducing progressive labor standards and environmental protections.

    Many of the rising “tigers,” as Asian economic powers like Singapore came to be known following rapid growth in the last half-century, benefited from protectionist policies and high tariffs reducing foreign competition. Vietnam and Malaysia in particular maintain some of the world’s highest tariffs and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) against foreign businesses. So why would these economies want to open their doors to change now?

    According to a study by Peterson Institute, Vietnam may stand to gain the most under the TPP framework. Jack Sheehan, a partner at DFDL specializing in cross-border legal services, argues the same:

    In 2012, Vietnam exported almost $7bn (£4.2bn) worth of apparel to the US, which accounted for 34% of US apparel imports. Vietnam also exported $2.4bn worth of footwear…The TPP will allow Vietnam to export apparel to the US at a 0% tariff rate, which will make Vietnamese exports even more competitive.

    However, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) will have to continue unrolling privatization of its bloated SOE sector and pass progressive legislation strengthening labor rights in order to meet TPP criteria. SOEs make up roughly one-third of Vietnam’s GDP and are a huge drag on the economy, inflating national debt. Vinatex, a state-owned textile manufacturer, produces 40 percent of Vietnamese apparel and 60 percent of all textiles.

    Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor in the U.S. government, has argued that joining the TPP will force Vietnam’s government to continue fundamental political and economic reforms by granting Vietnamese laborers freedom of association and the right to form labor unions. 

    Phasing out high tariffs will expose domestic industries to increased competition from overseas investors, but ultimately these structural reforms will set Vietnam’s economy on stronger ground and promote innovation in local firms.

    #TPP #ETATS-UNIS #Asie

  • Japan’s defence and diplomacy heading in the wrong direction | East Asia Forum

    Japan is at a momentous turning point. On 16 July 2015 the government of Shinzo Abe used its big majority in the House of Representatives to override objections from opposition parties and pass legislation permitting collective self-defence (CSD). But this is one of several misdirected solutions following years of conservative revisionism.


  • More than 2,000 unionists rally in Brisbane to protest against China-Australia FTA - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    Trade unions argued the FTA would threaten Australian jobs by allowing Chinese workers to replace local workers on major construction projects.

    The rally was held outside the Commonwealth Law Courts Building in Brisbane during a public hearing into the trade deal by the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties.

    The protest marked the second national rally against the FTA, following protests at the ALP National Conference last Friday.

    Guest speaker and Labor Senator Sue Lines said the protests were not an anti-trade statement.

    “All of us want to see Australia trade and prosper, but that trade has to be fair and it must protect Australian jobs,” she said.

    “Labor is committed to do whatever it can to get to the truth of this and to stop what we can that disadvantages our trade, our works and our unions through the Parliament.”

    #Chine #Australie #Libre-échange #Protestations

  • China vows market stability after biggest drop in eight years - Global Times

    National Bureau of Statistics data showed on Monday that the combined profits of major industrial enterprises have declined 0.3 percent in June from the same period last year and dropped 0.7 percent in the first half.

    Also, the preliminary reading of Caixin’s July manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) announced on Friday came in at 48.2, which was the weakest reading since April 2014, indicating that the industrial sector is still experiencing difficulties. A reading below 50 shows investments in the industry are dropping.

    But Li Daxiao, chief economist at Shenzhen-based Yingda Securities, said that the weak economic data is only a minor reason for souring market sentiment. “The more important factor is that some stocks on the two bourses are still overvalued, leading to the market correction,” Li told the Global Times on Monday.

    The market has been recovering in recent days. Before the Monday plunge, the Shanghai Composite Index had gained over 16 percent from its July 8 low.

    Authorities announced measures to arrest the market slump that began on June 12, including a relaxation on margin trading rules - using borrowed money to invest in the market - a ban on major shareholders from selling within six months and a crackdown on “malicious” short selling.

    Southwest Securities announced on Monday that one of its shareholders, Chongqing Yufu Assets Management Group, is being investigated by the CSRC, as the Chongqing-based company has allegedly violated relevant laws or rules on reducing its holdings in the company.

    Market fears that the government may withhold further support measures may also be a reason behind the Monday retreat, according to analysts, after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on the Chinese government to refrain from rescue measures.

    #Chine, #Bourses

  • China-Made Largest Containership Delivered - People’s Daily Online

    On July 27, after 490 days’ manufacturing, CMA CGM group in Marseilles, France, received a gigantic delivery of a containership named CMA CGM Vasco de Gama from China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC).
    The 18,000 TEU containership is the largest one China has ever built. Designed by CSSC’s No. 708 Research Institute, CMA CGM Vasco de Gama is 399.2 meters in length, 54 meters in width, and 30.3 meters in molded depth. It is the size of over 4 standardized football fields, and has a the transport capacity of over three 18,000-ton bulk carriers. It has a service speed of 22.2 knots.

    #Chine #navale

  • Drahi s’associe à Weill pour mettre la main sur BFMTV et RMC

    Multiplication des acquisitions dans les médias
    Patrick Drahi, troisième fortune de l’Hexagone, continue donc de faire son marché dans le monde des médias. La semaine dernière, Il a annoncé être entré en négociations exclusives pour racheter les titres spécialisés Stratégies, Coiffure de Paris et CosmétiqueMag. En janvier, le patron d’Altice a mis la main sur Libération et l’Express ainsi que sur d’autres titres du groupe belge de médias Roularta. La transaction a reçu le feu vert de l’autorité de la concurrence, au début du mois de juin.

    L’homme d’affaires franco-israélien a entrepris de constituer un nouveau groupe de médias Altice Media Group, qui comprend ces titres nouvellement acquis ainsi que la chaîne israélienne i24 News.

    #Presse #Drahi

  • Le partenariat transpacifique pourrait être bouclé cette semaine, Etats Unis

    Les douze nations du TPP, dont les Etats-Unis et le Japon, se retrouvent, à Hawaï, pour leurs négociations finales.
    Mardi, les ministres du commerce de douze nations de la région Pacifique vont rejoindre leurs “sherpas” déjà présents depuis la semaine dernière à Hawaï pour tenter de mettre la dernière main, après plus de cinq ans de discussions, au plus large partenariat régional jamais mis en place sur la planète. Le 31 juillet, ils espèrent enfin pouvoir rentrer dans leurs capitales respectives avec le texte exact du “Partenariat transpacifique » ou “TPP” qui devra alors être validé par chacun des pays concernés, avant d’être éventuellement mis en place à partir de 2016 ou 2017.
    Si la plateforme doit permettre d’abaisser encore les tarifs douaniers, déjà très bas, sur des centaines marchandises circulant entre les Etats-Unis, le Japon, la Malaisie, le Canada, l’Australie, Singapour mais aussi le Pérou, le Chili, le Mexique, le Brunei, le Vietnam et la Nouvelle-Zélande, qui génèrent déjà ensemble 40 % du PIB mondial, elle va surtout redéfinir plusieurs grands standards économiques qui pourraient s’imposer, à terme, à l’ensemble de la planète. Nombre d’analystes voient ainsi dans le TPP un accord plus politique qu’économique. « Si nous n’écrivons pas les règles du commerce mondial, devinez quoi ? La Chine le fera. Et ils feront de façon à avantager les entreprises et travailleurs chinois », avait lâché, en mai dernier, le président américain Barack Obama.


    • Lire « Libre-échange, version Pacifique », par Martine @Bulard !

      A l’origine, en 2005, le PTP ne réunissait que quatre nains politiques et commerciaux (Brunei, Chili, Nouvelle-Zélande, Singapour), qui tentaient de résister au rouleau compresseur de leurs voisins. Quatre ans plus tard, les Etats-Unis reprennent l’idée, avec la volonté de contenir la puissance de la Chine, qui s’est rapprochée des pays de l’Asie du Sud-Est via des accords de libre-échange. Washington craint de perdre son hégémonie dans la région et entraîne dans son sillage l’Australie, la Malaisie, le Pérou et le Vietnam, puis le Canada et le Mexique, déjà liés par l’Accord de libre-échange nord-américain (Alena). Mais il a fallu attendre novembre 2011 pour que le Japon, alors premier partenaire de la Chine, rejoigne le cortège… du bout des pieds. Depuis, le très nationaliste premier ministre Abe Shinzo y a vu l’occasion de renforcer son rôle de bras droit asiatique de l’Amérique.

      Ainsi se profile ce que les experts américains nomment « le pacte commercial du XXIe siècle ».

    • Autre extrait :

      Le gouvernement japonais ne cache pas sa volonté d’utiliser le traité de libre-échange en cours de discussion avec l’Union européenne pour faire plier ses agriculteurs (plus disposés à accepter les normes alimentaires européennes que celles des Américains), obtenir une ouverture européenne pour ses voitures et, fort des résultats obtenus, réclamer aux Etats-Unis une baisse de leurs droits de douane sur les camions (25 %). Un jeu de billard à trois bandes. Evidemment, avec cette approche, la signature du PTP n’est pas pour demain. Et, du côté américain, il n’est pas sûr que le projet passe aisément au Congrès : les républicains y sont majoritairement opposés, par hostilité viscérale à M. Obama, et une partie des démocrates également.